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Mega Millions lottery jackpots will get bigger, quicker

Mega MillionsMega Millions: Mega Millions lottery jackpots will get bigger, quicker

The odds of record-setting jackpots in the Mega Millions lottery will improve tremendously after California joins the multistate game later this year.

The nation's most-populated state will bring an influx of new players and money that promises to boost the lottery's prize pool for players in all Mega Millions states.

"Jackpots will grow much faster and at much higher levels," said Carole Everett at the Mega Millions lottery's headquarters in Baltimore. The lottery is drawn in Atlanta.

California will become the 12th state to join the Mega Millions family, choosing the game over the other major player in the multistate lottery field -- Powerball, which is drawn in Des Moines, Iowa, and played in 27 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

California's lottery board voted 3-0 Tuesday to choose Mega Millions over Powerball. The big attraction for the state was the lottery's drawing dates, said Cathy Johnston, a California lottery spokeswoman. Mega Millions is drawn at 11 p.m. ET on Tuesday and Friday. Powerball drawings are held on Wednesday and Saturday, the same days California holds its state Lotto drawings.

There have been three jackpots of more than $300 million in the United States -- two for Mega Millions, one for Powerball -- and Everett says a $400 million jackpot certainly is possible for Mega Millions with California on board.

The nation's record jackpot was $363 million shared by two Mega Millions winners in May 2000. Mega also had three winners of a $331 million jackpot in April 2002. Powerball's record provided the largest single winner with its $314.9 million jackpot won on Christmas Day 2002.

The odds of a single ticket winning the Mega Millions jackpot are one in 135,145,920.

With California, Everett says the Mega Millions' starting jackpot likely will change -- it's $10 million now -- and some of the top prizes below the jackpot may possibly be increased. (Players currently win $175,000 when they match five numbers, but miss the Mega Ball number. Those with four of the five numbers plus the Mega Ball win $5,000.) Any changes must be approved by the directors of the participating states.

"We were disappointed, but we wish them the best of luck," said Charles Strutt, director of Des Moines-based Powerball. "The lottery industry is a pretty small world. We have lots of friends in California and in Mega Millions."

Strutt said tweaking of the Powerball game will continue.

The biggest difference in the two multistate lotteries is that Powerball has a power-play concept that costs an extra dollar and increases the value of all prizes below the jackpot from two to five times the face value.

Both games generally pump half of their receipts back to payouts for players, with the rest going to the government, administrative costs of the lottery and bonuses to retailers who sell tickets.

AP

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11 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by mrmst.
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dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

United States
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Posted: February 10, 2005, 9:40 am - IP Logged

Odd they said the same thing after Texas joined. It's like if you repeat the same lie over and over they think it will become the truth.

The big 363M pot they keep talking about was before New York, WA and TX joined (along with some other states)

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    United States
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    Posted: February 10, 2005, 10:26 am - IP Logged

    Have the jackpots for the first 10 drawings following a winner increased since Texas joined? Does anyone have statistics on that?

    Also, does the lottery release what percentage of the total possible number combinations are covered per drawing?  It would be very interesting to see the average number of combinations covered with CA and TX in the game vs. before.

      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
      Chief Bottle Washer
      New Jersey
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      Posted: February 10, 2005, 10:36 am - IP Logged
      Quote: Originally posted by dvdiva on February 10, 2005


      Odd they said the same thing after Texas joined. It's like if you repeat the same lie over and over they think it will become the truth.
      The big 363M pot they keep talking about was before New York, WA and TX joined (along with some other states)


      What are you talking about?!  Texas cranked up the jackpots for MM, and now they grow faster than Powerball!

       

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        United States
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        Posted: February 10, 2005, 6:52 pm - IP Logged

        Higher sales help increase the frequency of big jackpot runs.

          DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
          Yinzer Country, PA
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          Posted: February 10, 2005, 7:30 pm - IP Logged

          both powerball and mega millions are seeing bigger rollovers. also, perhaps powerball should try increasing their starting jackpot as well.

          I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.

            Zeno's avatar - ummm
            Somewhere in Washington
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            December 24, 2003
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            Posted: February 11, 2005, 9:34 pm - IP Logged




            The odds of record-setting jackpots in the Mega Millions lottery will improve tremendously after California joins the multistate game later this year. 

            There have been three jackpots of more than $300 million in the United States -- two for Mega Millions, one for Powerball -- and Everett says a $400 million jackpot certainly is possible for Mega Millions with California on board.





            The probability of getting a high jackpot doesn't increase after a new state joins.  Let's say the lottery only sells $100,000 in tickets each drawing.  What is the probability of selling $400,000,000 in tickets with no winner?  This would of course take 4,000 drawings.

            It's (((135,145,919/135,145,920)^100,000)^4,000) = 0.051839648.

            Let's say the lottery sells $400,000,000 in tickets for one drawing.  The probability of no winner is

            (135,145,919/135,145,920)^400,000,000 = 0.051839648.

            So, we would get big jackpots more frequently simply because it would take fewer draws on average to reach the high totals even though the probability doesn't change.

              dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

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              Posted: February 12, 2005, 10:05 am - IP Logged

              The jackpots may grow faster than powerball (but not by much). The big problem is they get hit more often than powerball and that's before CA has joined.

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                Morrison, IL
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                May 13, 2004
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                Posted: February 14, 2005, 9:44 pm - IP Logged

                  The Powerball jackpots seem to be hit more often than the Mega Millions jackpots lately.


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                  Posted: February 15, 2005, 3:37 pm - IP Logged

                  Both games should increase their jackpots.


                    United States
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                    Posted: February 17, 2005, 5:07 pm - IP Logged

                    More players mean bigger rollovers.

                      mrmst's avatar - disney14
                      Glen Burnie, MD
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                      June 27, 2002
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                      Posted: February 21, 2005, 8:47 am - IP Logged

                      I agree that more players mean bigger rollovers, but more players also mean the jackpot will be won more frequently if the odds aren't changed.  It's a simple numbers game.

                      MrMST

                      Good luck and have a Disney Day ºoºHiding Behind Computer